|Herman Edwards.JPG |
|Date of birth||April 27 1954|
|Place of birth||Eatontown, New Jersey|
|— No. N/A|
|Coaching stats||Pro Football Reference|
|Career player statistics (if any)|
|More stats at:|
|Playing stats||Pro Football Reference|
|Team(s) as a player (if any)|
|Team(s) as a coach/administrator (if any)|
|San Jose State University|
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
(defensive backs coach)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(assistant head coach and
defensive backs coach)
New York Jets
Kansas City Chiefs
Herman "Herm" Edwards, Jr. (born April 27, 1954) is an American football analyst who most recently coached in the National Football League for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was fired from this position on January 23, 2009. Since then, he has been hired as a football analyst for ESPN. He played the position of cornerback for ten seasons (1977–1986) with the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons. Prior to his coaching career, Edwards was known best as the player who recovered a fumble by Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik on a play that has been dubbed by some as "The Miracle at the Meadowlands."
Before being hired as the tenth head coach in Kansas City Chiefs history, Edwards was the head coach of the New York Jets from 2001–2005. He is known for his gameday terminology, dubbed "Hermisms" by fans. Of these, the quote and sound bite, "You play to win the game!", a message that Edwards gave during a New York Jets press conference, became the title of his book, a collection of "leadership lessons" for the reader to use as personal motivation.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
The son of an African American World War II veteran and his German wife, Edwards played college football at the University of California in 1972 and 1974, at Monterey Peninsula College in 1973, and at San Diego State in his senior year, 1975. He graduated from SDSU with a degree in criminal justice. Herm was very committed to the community he adopted on the Monterey Peninsula. He helped promote Monterey County Special Olympics for several years. His public involvement helped educate Monterey County residents about the importance of athletics with the developmentally disabled.
In the NFL, Edwards played nine seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1977 to 1986, making a championship appearance with the team in Super Bowl XV. His 33 career interceptions is just one short of the franchise record. Remarkably he never missed a game in 9 seasons with the Eagles, remaining active with the team for 135 consecutive regular-season games until being cut by then-incoming Head Coach Buddy Ryan in 1986. Edwards went on to play briefly for the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons in 1986 before announcing his retirement.
The highlight of Edwards' playing career occurred on November 19, 1978, in the final seconds of a game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands. The Giants led 17-12 and the Eagles had no time-outs remaining; but instead of simply taking the snap from center and taking a knee, Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik attempted to hand the ball off to running back Larry Csonka. However, the ball came loose, and Edwards picked it up and returned it for a touchdown, enabling the Eagles to win 19–17. This play became known in Philadelphia as The Miracle at the Meadowlands and in New York as simply "The Fumble."
Philadelphia's implementation of the victory formation, which was designed as a result of The Miracle at the Meadowlands, was known as the "Herman Edwards play".
Coaching career[edit | edit source]
Early years[edit | edit source]
After his playing career ended, Edwards became a defensive assistant at San Jose State University (1987–1989), then was an NFL scout and defensive backs coach with the Kansas City Chiefs (1990–1995), for former Browns, Chiefs, Redskins, and Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996–2000), he was a defensive backs/assistant head coach under Tony Dungy. On January 28, 2001, despite never having previously held a head coaching or coordinator position, Edwards was hired as head coach of the New York Jets .
New York Jets[edit | edit source]
In his five years as the Jets head coach, Edwards compiled a 39–41 record, including a 2–3 record in the playoffs and a 5-15 stretch during his final 20 regular season games with the club. Despite inheriting a veteran team with a strong 3-4 defense from Bill Parcells and Al Groh, Edwards decided to transition the team to a 4-3 "Cover 2" defense. Although many fans and players questioned Edwards' decisions, the Jets had mild success in Edwards' first two seasons, reaching the playoffs in both. The Jets were the 6th seed in 2001, losing on the road in the first round to the Oakland Raiders by the score of 38–24. In 2002, the Jets squeaked into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, due to winning the tie-breakers in a three-way tie for the AFC East Division lead with the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins. The Jets advanced through the Wildcard round this time, which led to a return trip to Oakland. Once again, Edwards and the Jets came up short, losing 30-10 to the Raiders. Following a disappointing 6-10 season in 2003, the Jets reached the divisional round of the AFC playoffs once more in 2004, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 20-17. In 2005, a year marred by injuries, inconsistent play, lack of player development, and rumors swirling about Edwards possibly leaving the organization, Edwards led the Jets to a woeful 4-12 record. Following the end of the season, the Jets made the highly unusual move of trading a coach—Edwards—to another team (the Kansas City Chiefs), in exchange for a player to be chosen in round four of the 2006 NFL Draft. Overall, Edward's tenure as head coach of the Jets was marred by chronic clock management problems, an ultra-conservative "play not to lose" mentality, and a lack of any discernable defensive philosophy, despite Edwards' supposed expertise in the Cover 2 defense. The Jets replaced Edwards by hiring Eric Mangini, a senior assistant-coach with the New England Patriots.
Controversial departure from New York[edit | edit source]
Following the 2005 season, Carl Peterson (president of the Kansas City Chiefs) hinted to the press about interest in hiring Edwards that could have been considered tampering. The Jets granted permission to the Chiefs to speak with Edwards. At the time, Edwards had two years remaining on his contract with the Jets. However, Peterson wanted Edwards (a longtime personal acquaintance) to succeed head coach Dick Vermeil, who had just retired. As the rumors started swirling, a war of words between the two teams began to start up in the media. In the midst of all the speculation, Edwards tried to use what leverage he thought he had with the Jets to get a contract extension and hefty pay raise from the Jets, which only served to further anger the club's owner. Eventually, the two teams worked out a deal, and the Chiefs sent the Jets a 4th round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft as compensation (the Jets later used this selection to take Leon Washington).
Kansas City Chiefs[edit | edit source]
On September 10, 2006, Edwards made his regular season coaching debut with the Chiefs. In a lackluster performance, the Chiefs lost at home, to the Cincinnati Bengals, by the score of 23-10. Edwards first win with the Chiefs came on October 1, 2006 with a defeat of the San Francisco 49ers 41-0 in the third game of the season.
The 2006 Kansas City Chiefs season would see many highs and lows. Starting quarterback Trent Green suffered a serious concussion in the first game of the season. Despite Green's injury, the Chiefs continued to stay in contention, largely thanks to backup quarterback Damon Huard and Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson. In a move some considered controversial, Edwards chose to sit Huard and start Green, when he returned from injury . At the time, Huard's performance at quarterback was one of the best in the league, having thrown 11 touchdowns against only 1 interception, averaging 7.7 yards per pass attempt, and posting a quarterback rating of 98.0  (2nd best rating in the NFL, second to only Peyton Manning). Additionally, the Chiefs were 5-3 in games started by Huard in 2006. Upon his return, Green struggled and failed to perform at the level of play that he had achieved in previous seasons, throwing 7 touchdowns (against 9 interceptions) and going 4-4 as a starter. Green's poor play led to Edwards placing more of the offensive burden on the shoulders of Larry Johnson, who ultimately ended up setting a record for rushing attempts in a season.
The Chiefs finished the 2006 season with a 9–7 record, edging out the Denver Broncos (who lost in OT to the San Francisco 49ers in the final game of the season) by divisional tiebreaker for second place in the AFC West, and making the playoffs as the 6th seed in the AFC. This was their first playoff appearance in the last 3 seasons, despite the 2005 Chiefs having had a better record at 10–6 the previous year.
On January 6, 2007, the Edwards-led Chiefs were soundly defeated by the Indianapolis Colts, by a score of 23–8. In the first half, the Chiefs offense failed to produce a single first down. This was the first time in the modern NFL era (post AFL-NFL Merger), and the first time since 1960, that any team had been held without a first down in the first half of a playoff game .
Edwards second regular season with the Chiefs began on September 9, 2007. Edwards streak of losses on opening day continued as the Chiefs lost to Houston Texans, by the score of 20-3. This loss marked the first time since the opening day of the 1970 season that the Chiefs has lost by a margin of 17 points on opening day, and was the first time in a decade that the Chiefs had been held to 3 points or less on opening day. The Chiefs under Edwards ended the 2007 season 4–12 with a 9 game losing streak, which tied the then-longest losing streak in the history of the Chiefs franchise.
In the 2007 season the Chiefs were plagued with quarterback, running back, kicker and offensive coaching controversies. Damon Huard started the season and compiled a 4 win and 5 loss record. He was benched in favor of Edwards 2006 draft choice Brodie Croyle who split time with Huard mid-season, then became injured, then finished most of the season. Croyle played in a total of 9 games and did not win any. Running back Larry Johnson injured his foot mid season and was replaced by Priest Holmes who came out of retirement late in the year and was ineffective. Kicker Justin Medlock was Edwards draft choice but was cut after the first game and replaced by Dave Rayner. He was cut late in the year and replaced with John Carney. Finally, after promoting Mike Solari from Offensive Line Coach to Offensive Coordinator in 2007, Edwards fired Solari and replaced him with Chan Gailey in early 2008. He also fired his offensive line coach, receivers coach, and running backs coach.
43 year old Chiefs owner Clark Hunt set the tone for the 2008 season by expressing his support for Herm Edwards and GM Carl Peterson and their plan to rebuild the team. However Clark did warn that he expected the Chiefs to be competitive for a playoff spot in 2008.
In an attempt to rebuild the team, the Chiefs cut numerous aging veterans in the offseason, and the team traded Pro Bowl Defensive End Jared Allen to the Minnesota Vikings. As a result, Edwards fielded one of the youngest teams in the NFL in 2008. Edwards streak of opening day defeats continued as the Chiefs lost to the New England Patriots by the score of 17-10. This continued the Chiefs losing record from 2007 into 2008. The team eventually skidded to a franchise record of 12 consecutive regular season defeats. The Chiefs finally ended the streak after defeating the Denver Broncos at home on September 28, 2008 by a score of 33-19. Unfortunately they were blown out the following week at the Carolina Panthers. During that game, the Chiefs only managed to gain 127 total yards, their worst performance in 22 years.
Edwards was relieved as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs on January 23, 2009.
Head coaching record[edit | edit source]
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|NYJ||2001||10||6||0||.625||3rd in AFC East||0||1||.000||Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Wild-Card Game.|
|NYJ||2002||9||7||0||.562||1st in AFC East||1||1||.500||Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Divisional Game.|
|NYJ||2003||6||10||0||.375||4th in AFC East||-||-||-||-|
|NYJ||2004||10||6||0||.625||2nd in AFC East||1||1||.500||Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Game.|
|NYJ||2005||4||12||0||.250||4th in AFC East||-||-||-||-|
|KC||2006||9||7||0||.562||2nd in AFC West||0||1||.000||Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Wild-Card Game.|
|KC||2007||4||12||0||.250||3rd in AFC West||-||-||-||-|
|KC||2008||2||14||0||.125||4th in AFC West||-||-||-||-|
"Hermisms"[edit | edit source]
Edwards is known for his motivational speeches and soundbites given at press conferences. Edwards' popularity among motivational speaking has even led to the publication of his own book of quotes.
With New York[edit | edit source]
- "This is what's great about sports. This is what the greatest thing about sports is. You play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game. You don't play it to just play it. That's the great thing about sports: you play to win, and I don't care if you don't have any wins. You go play to win. When you start tellin' me it doesn't matter, then retire. Get out! 'Cause it matters." - Following a reporter's question on the team's ability to win, on October 30, 2002 after a Week 8 loss to the Cleveland Browns left them at 2–5. After this speech however the Jets, sparked by the debut of Quarterback Chad Pennington, would go 7–2 and win the AFC Eastern Division Championship. For more see 2002 New York Jets.
This monologue was later incorporated into a TV commercial for Coors Light beer.
With Kansas City[edit | edit source]
- "I did a lot of preaching this week. I had my sermons ready. The good part is the congregation was listening. I wish I had passed the collection plate. I would’ve made a lot of money. But I did it for free." — Edwards, following a win against the Chargers in 2006.
- "When you're a head coach, you don't know where to stand," Edwards said. "You're screwed up. You go on the field, no one's talking to you. `Somebody's gonna talk to me.' You don't know what to do. So you go over and talk to the other head coach, and kind of shake his hand, then you go, `Where do I stand?'" -- In an interview with South Florida Sun-Sentinel Reporter Ethan J. Skolnick.
- "Let's not get this thing twisted and think we backed into this deal. We didn't lose, we won. Every team that played this weekend played at home and had an opportunity to get into the playoffs just like us. We just happened to win. What's wrong with that? So, let's not get it twisted and say, 'Well, they're lucky.' We didn't get lucky. We won." — Edwards defending the Chiefs' 9–7 record and entry to the playoffs in 2006-07.
- "When we score seven points, I’ll say we’re slow starting. If we score 21 points, I’ll say, ‘Whoa, we scored a lot of points.’ Twenty-one points – that’s a lot of points. Thirty points? That isn’t even a football game. That’s Arena Football. We’re talking about real football.” 
- “People aren’t used to this in Kansas City. Get over it! It happens. It’s called life. You can’t think you’re too big that it’s not going to happen to you. It happens to everybody."  -- Edwards in a press conference after losing six consecutive games.
Personal[edit | edit source]
Edwards was born in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Edwards is the son of Herman, Sr., the late Master Sergeant, and Martha. Herman Sr. met Martha while he was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. As a child, Edwards was a voracious reader but showed little interest in board games such as Monopoly and Risk.
Edwards graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Criminal Justice. Edwards and his wife Lia have two daughters Gabrielle and Vivian. Edwards has a son Marcus from a previous relationship.
Edwards has a 'tradition' of not watching the Super Bowl until he himself participates in one. Edwards did not even watch his friends Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith participate in Super Bowl XLI. Dungy had a tradition much like what Edwards does, that is, with the exceptions of Dungy's victories in both Super Bowls XIII and XLI. Edwards broke that tradition when, to serve in his capacity as an analyst for ESPN, he watched Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.
Edwards has a strict workout regimen that has him in the gym at 5 in the morning six days a week. Sometimes working out in Modesto California.
Instead of wearing athletic sneakers with his coaching attire, Edwards wears dress shoes. Before every game, Edwards polishes the shoes himself.
Known widely for enthusiasm and faith-based personality, Edwards was born and raised Baptist, but converted with his family and is now a practicing Roman Catholic.
Edwards is known for keeping Fig Newtons in his refrigerator. According to Edwards, they are a reminder of where he's been in his life.
Edwards grew up in Seaside, California and attended Monterey High School.
References and notes[edit | edit source]
- Firing as Chiefs coach
- "Herm Jet-Lagged Takes Blame In New Spin On Collapse", Daily News, 16 November 2004.
- Chiefs given permission to talk to Herm Edwards. Kansas City Chiefs official website. Retrieved on 2008-07-09.
- Herm Edwards named the 10th head coach in Kansas City Chiefs history. Kansas City Chiefs official website. Retrieved on 2008-07-09. [dead link]
- Huard shines again Kansas City Star, 1 January 2007.
- Don’t swap while team clicking Kansas City Star, 8 November 2006.
- Herman Edwards Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks - Pro-Football-Reference.com
- Schraeger, Peter. Get ready to meet Herm FOXSports.com, 13 June 2007.
- Whitlock, Jason "Herm covering Carl's goof," Kansas City Star, 2 January 2007
- Wilbur, Eric. Natural Selection Boston.com, 3 January 2007.
- Herm's Game of Chess www.kcchiefs.com, 6 September 2007
- Ryan Masters. Mother-In-Chief. Carmel Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
- Karen Crouse (2005-08-11), Pro Football; Edwards keeps cool with baby on way, The New York Times
- Edwards enjoys quiet Super sunday Kansas City Star, 6 February 2007.
- Jen Murphy. "Jets Coach Sticks to an Intense Routine", Wall Street Journal Online, 24 August 2005.
- What you don't know about Herm KCChiefs.com, 25 September 2006.